I was fortunate to enter the corporate world at a time when companies still offered pensions. About half-way through my career, the pension plans were replaced by 401k plans. I had enough time in to be vested in the pension plan, but also took advantage of continuing to save for retirement through the new tools and now I have a blend of retirement income types to finance this great last adventure.
As I grow accustomed to my new lifestyle, I realize that I am also drawing on the benefits of my intangible pension. This pension fund does not come from the stock market or a corporate plan. It is an accumulation of the skills and experiences I gained through working for various employers over fifty years.
My years in accounting-related jobs honed my skills in managing a budget and projecting expenses. I learned to keep a steady eye on the bottom line, a skill very much needed in retirement.
Keeping my many hobbies and interests thriving requires putting to good use the project management skills I learned at work. I did not leave my problem-solving skills and ability to be flexible back in a drawer in my cubicle; I use those techniques frequently.
Retirement in this day and age includes being able to work the technology. Remaining social as our bodies age becomes more of a challenge as the physical ability to get around diminishes with each passing year. The internet and social media allow opportunities to remain in contact with other people and keeping up with the business side of living is ever more dependent on being connected electronically.
I am very grateful that I had so many opportunities to learn computer technology throughout my career. I am confident to update and upgrade any computer and solve technical difficulties without having to call the Geek Squad. And the new toys beckon without instilling fear in my heart.
Of all the funds in my intangible pension, I appreciate my learning skill the most. For a time, my employers saw educating their workers as a priority and I was able to take many classes and learn how to apply what I learned to my job. In later years, lack of funds extinguished the formal classes and it was then I really learned to teach myself new programs and software.
Now, one of my favorite retirement activities is learning from online classes and YouTube and actual books how to do something that interests me and benefits others. I also am confident to take community college classes. My job no longer depends on my mind mastering some new computer program. Mastering a new program now just means fun.
“Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” (Ecclesiastes 11:6, NIV)
I invested my energy, my talents, and my attitude in my job during the day and on many, many evenings and weekends. There were failures among the successes during my careers. I did not realize then the seeds would continue to produce even after my formal work life ended. All praise to God for continuing to let these blessings flow in my life!